Philosophers have written at length about the idea of fighting “a daily battle”, many of them believing not only that should we work to overcome our hardships, but we should actually LIVE for them.
Friedrich Neitzsche famously wrote: “not merely bare what is necessary, but love it.”
Meaning that the point isn’t to struggle through each day just waiting for the moment it can end, what kind of life would that be? Rather, the goal is to embrace even our greatest challenges, and transform them into vehicles for growth. Amor Fati: Love Fate.
In fact, the ancient Stoics of 2000 years ago believed we must actively root for challenges so that we can learn to overcome them, strengthening ourselves in the process.
As the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote:
"I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.”
In fact the Stoics believed so deeply in the mindset of progress that Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius instructed himself:
“Never be caught complaining, not even to yourself.”
But it’s not just royalty and ancient thinkers that feel this way, psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote:
“What is demanded of man is not to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness.”
Or as the Russian writer Dostoevsky once said, "There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings."
Besides what choice do we have? Regardless how much we suffer, life continues on until it does not, the only question left is will we be the one leading our destiny or will we just become passengers in our own lives?
Or as Seneca summed it up:
Fate leads the willing and drags along the reluctant.